ROCKVILLE, Md., April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In this tough economy, every penny saved is a penny earned. This motto especially comes into play during the tax-filing season, when many Americans are hoping for their maximum refund so that they can save money and spend their paychecks wisely.
To help ease the financial burden of the tax preparation process and make sure individuals and families receive their full tax refunds, the Walmart Foundation has partnered with Goodwill Industries International, the National Disability Institute and United Way Worldwide to offer MyFreeTaxes.com, a completely free online tax-filing service.
With seven days left to file their taxes, here is a countdown of the top five things Americans should know about before filing.
5. Save $200.
According to the National Society of Accountants, the average tax prep fee for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A plus a state tax return is $229. Millions of Americans pay hundreds to file their taxes without knowing they may be eligible for free preparation and filing. MyFreeTaxes.com is a free tool for eligible taxpayers earning $57,000 or less that provides the experience of a paid tax preparer without the cost. MyFreeTaxes.com offers free federal and state tax preparation and filing either in-person or online. Visit MyFreeTaxes.com for more information.
4. Get returns faster.
The IRS recommends electronic filing as the fastest way to get your refund. The MyFreeTaxes.com online tax preparation and filing tool, powered by H&R Block, can save filers time and money and help get their refunds faster. Users' work is saved at every step so they can start filing online and come back later. All that is required is a valid email address. Interested filers should visit MyFreeTaxes.com to get started, and contact the helpline 1-855-My-Tx-Help (1-855-698-9435) with any questions. Representatives are available Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (EST) via phone or online chat.
3. Get an income boost.
In addition to saving on tax prep fees through MyFreeTaxes.com, American workers may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal tax credit that can provide a crucial income boost benefiting individual workers, their families and their communities.
Tax credits, whether the EITC or the child and dependent care tax credit, can make all the difference in helping families pay for utilities, food and rent every month. To find a free tax preparation site or get more information about the EITC, filers can call 2-1-1 or visit MyFreeTaxes.com.
2. Gather data.
MyFreeTaxes.com offers a checklist to avoid late fees and penalties and help individuals keep all of their paperwork in one place to save time and maximize refunds. Important items to remember include W-2s, 1099s and 1098s, incomes/interest statements, bank account numbers, previous years' tax returns, charitable donations, social security numbers, dates of birth, and other important receipts.
1. Maximize your money.
Filers can put their refunds to good use through long-term investments that improve their financial future, such as buying a house, obtaining additional education or training, or saving for retirement. Other good uses for their tax refunds include paying down debt and overdue bills or creating an emergency fund through a savings or money market account.
MyFreeTaxes.com is easy, safe, secure and only takes about an hour to file. With the tax deadline right around the corner, now is the time for Americans to file their tax returns.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief and Nutrition, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women's Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than one billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart's giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.
About Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with 14 affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill is one of America's top 25 most inspiring companies (Forbes, 2012). Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,700 stores and online at shopgoodwill.com. Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. In 2012, more than four million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 82 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at locator.goodwill.org, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl or @GoodwillCapHill, or find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl.
About National Disability Institute
National Disability Institute (NDI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building a better economic future for people with disabilities. The first national organization committed exclusively to championing economic empowerment, financial education, asset development and financial stability for all persons with disabilities. National Disability Institute effects change through public education, policy development, training, technical assistance and innovative initiatives. Since 2005, National Disability Institute and its Real Economic Impact (REI) Network of more than 900 partners in more than 100 cities nationwide have helped 1.5 million people with disabilities receive more than $1.4 billion in tax refunds. To learn more, visit www.realeconomicimpact.org
About United Way
United Way is a worldwide network in 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the key building blocks of education, income and health. United Way recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change. For more information about United Way, please visit www.UnitedWay.org
SOURCE Goodwill Industries International